National Public Ownership League circular, ca. June 1916




4131 North Keeler Ave.
CHICAGO [page 2]


WHAT IT IS -- A non-partisan, educational organization for the advancement of the public ownership and democratic control of public utilities and natural resources.

WHAT IT IS FOR -- To secure the efficient operation of public utilities already publicly owned; just and reasonable conditions for all public employees, and the public ownership of additional public utilities and natural resources as far and as fast as it can be made practical.

WHAT IT WILL DO -- Collect, classify and disseminate all possible information on public ownership; conduct an Information Service; assist individuals, organizations and cities in a strictly non-partisan way in public ownership campaigns; organize a corps of speakers and writers and a press and publicity service, and publish from time to time such bulletins and reports as its funds will permit and occasion require.

WHY WE MUST HAVE IT -- The public service corporations of this country are thoroughly and very effectively organized. They are able to bring to bear their united strength upon any community where the public ownership of any utility is an issue. They have an elaborate press service, popular and technical publications, experts in public utilities, speakers and writers, and a mint of money, all of which they call into action against public ownership whenever the occasion arises. To successfully meet that sort of combination the public ownership forces must be organized.

WHO IS BACK OF IT -- For a list of a few of the people who are promoting the League see the last page.

WHO MAY JOIN -- [Anyone] who is willing to work with the League for the above objects.

HOW TO JOIN -- Sign the application blank on opposite page, indicating the highest form of membership you can afford and send, together with your check, money order or cash to the Secretary Treasurer. [page 3]


Jane Addams, Hull-House, Chicago.

Louis F. Post, Labor Bureau, Washington, D.C.

Victor L. Berger, Editor Milwaukee Leader.

Frederic C. Howe, Commissioner of Immigration, New York.

Stanley Bomar, Circulation Manager "The Public," Chicago.

Ben. B. Lindsey, Juvenile Court, Denver.

Otto Cullman, President Single Tax Club, Chicago.

A. W. Ricker, Manager Pearson's Magazine.

John C. Kennedy, Member City Council, Chicago.

James Maurer, President Pennsylvania State Federation of Labor.

Mrs. W. I. Thomas, National Secretary Woman's Peace Party.

C. W. Koiner, Manager Municipal Electric Light Plant, Pasadena, Cal.

H. B. R. Briggs, Editor St. Paul Daily News.

Daniel W. Hoan, Mayor of Milwaukee.

Morton L. Johnson, Chicago Federation of Labor and President Penny Phone League.

A. M. Todd, Kalamazoo, Mich.

Hon. Richard Jones, State Senator, Duluth.

Stoughton Cooley, "The Public," Chicago.

Mary McDowell, University Settlement, Chicago.

C. B. Whitnall, Commonwealth Savings Bank, Milwaukee.

Hon. [S. A.] Stockwell, Minneapolis.

Louis F. Copelin, Editor "Appeal to Reason," Girard, Kan.

Benjamin F. Wilson, Berkeley, Cal.

Dr. C. F. Taylor, Philadelphia, Pa.

Samuel Danziger, Editor "The Public," Chicago.

Mrs. Harriet Thompson, President Chicago Equal Suffrage League.

Walter B. Millard, Cincinnati.

Charles Edward Russell, Washington, D.C.

Oscar Ameringer, Milwaukee.

Henry Smith, Member City Council, Milwaukee.

Walter B. Hilton, Editor "Majority," Wheeling, W. Va.

Fred G. Strickland, Dayton, O. [page 4]

E. E. Carr,  Editor Christian Socialist, Chicago.

Grace Abbott, Immigrants' Protective Association.

Rev. William Prosser, [Pittsburgh].

Fay Lewis, Rockford, Ill.

J. Weller Long, American Society of Equity.

Dan. P. Riordan, Civil Service League, Chicago.

W. E. McEwen, Postmaster, Duluth.

Miss S. [Breckinridge], Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy.

E. B. Amdah, Creston, Montana.

Isaac Peterson, Publisher, Chicago.

F. J. McConnell, Darlington, Wis.

Charles Zueblin, Boston, Mass.

And many others.


Morton L. Johnson, Chicago.
Ben. B. Lindsey, Denver.
Otto Cullman, Chicago.
Victor L. Berger, Milwaukee.
Frederic C. Howe, New York.
Mrs. Harriet P. Thomas, Chicago.
A. W. Ricker, New York.
Stanley Bomar, Chicago.
John C. Kennedy, Chicago.

Carl D. Thompson, 4131 North Keeler Ave., Chicago. [page 5]


ARTICLE I. -- Name and Object. This organization shall be known as the National Public Ownership League.

Its object shall be to secure the efficient operation of public utilities already publicly owned, just and reasonable conditions for all public employees and the public ownership of additional public utilities and natural resources as far and as fast as can be made practical.

The League shall be non-partisan and shall neither nominate nor endorse candidates for political office.

ARTICLE II. -- Membership. [Anyone] agreeing with the objects of the League may become a member by filing application with the Secretary-Treasurer and paying the membership fee, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee.

There shall be three types of members: (1) Associate members paying $2.00 membership fee per year; (2) Regular members paying $5.00 per year; and (3) Contributing members paying $10.00 or more per year.

The regular and contributing members shall be entitled to all the publications of the League and to such other services as the League may render its members. The Associate members shall be entitled to similar service in proportion to their fees and contributions. All members shall be entitled to attend and to have a voice and a vote in all meetings of the League. [page 6]

ARTICLE III. -- Officers. The officers of the League shall be a President, five Vice-Presidents, a Secretary-Treasurer and an Executive Committee of nine members, five of whom shall be residents of the city in which the national office of the League is located.

The President, Vice-Presidents and the Executive Committee shall be elected at the biennial meeting of the League and shall serve for two years.

The Executive Committee shall elect the Secretary-Treasurer, supervise his work and have general charge of the property and affairs of the League.

The Secretary-Treasurer shall have charge of the national office of the League and direct its work under the supervision of the Executive Committee. He shall have charge of the funds of the League and keep accurate account of all receipts and expenditures, and once each year shall render an account of all transactions together with a report of the general activities of the League. He shall give a suitable bond for the faithful discharge of his duties.

ARTICLE IV. -- Local Organizations and Affiliated Bodies. The League shall encourage and assist in the formation of local organizations wherever a sufficient number of members of the national league can be secured to make such organization practical. Such local organizations shall have full control of their own affairs, fix their own dues and take out and maintain at least five regular memberships in the national organization and as many more as they are able. They shall be entitled to as many votes in the meetings of the League as they have paid-up, regular memberships. [page 7]

Local municipal or public ownership leagues already formed and other organizations in accord with the objects of the National Public Ownership League may join upon the same basis as above.

ARTICLE V. -- Meetings. The meetings of the League shall be held biennially, the arrangements for which shall be made by the Secretary and Executive Committee.

ARTICLE VI. -- Information Service. The League shall conduct an Information Service which shall be under the direction of the Secretary-Treasurer. It shall be the purpose of this department to collect, through research work and otherwise, classify and make available all possible facts and information on the subject of public ownership throughout the world, but particularly in the United States. It shall be the aim of the service to supply the members of the League, and through them individuals, organizations, officials of cities and others desiring it, reliable, up-to-date information both of a technical and popular nature bearing upon the public ownership of public utilities.

ARTICLE VII. -- Publicity, Press Service and Publications. The League shall conduct a Press Service, Lecture Courses, publish leaflets, books and other literature in the interests of public ownership, and, where practical shall assist in the conduct of municipal and public ownership campaigns.

ARTICLE VIII. -- Amendments. This constitution may be amended at any regular biennial meeting of the League. [page 8]

Application for Membership National Public Ownership League

Mr. Carl D. Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer,
National Public Ownership League,
4131 North Keeler Avenue, Chicago, Ill.

Dear Sir: Enclosed please find $__________, for which please enroll me as an

Associate $2.00 per year
Regular 5.00 per year
Contributing 10.00 per year

Member of the National Public Ownership League, the above to apply on membership as indicated.


Street No. or Route__________

City and State__________

Date__________ 19__

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